Cinco De Hellmann’s Mayo
May 5th, is largely recognized as Mexico’s independence day. But the actual date when Mexico declared itself separate and sovereign from Spain was actually September 15, 1810. It was 52 years later, on May 5, 1862 that the event which sparked the May 5th celebrations took place. It was then that 4,000 Mexican soldiers smashed the French and traitor Mexican army of 8,000 at Puebla, Mexico, 100 miles east of Mexico City preventing Napoleon III from ruling in Mexico. Union forces from the US Civil War were then rushed to the Texas/Mexican border under General Phil Sheridan, who made sure that the Mexicans got all the weapons and ammunition they needed to expel the French.
But… there is a side note in history you may not have heard of.
Most people don’t know that back in 1912, Hellmann’s mayonnaise was manufactured in England. In fact, the Titanic was carrying 12,000 jars of the condiment scheduled for delivery in Vera Cruz, Mexico, which was to be the next port of call for the great ship after its stop in New York .
This would have been the largest single shipment of mayonnaise ever delivered to Mexico. But as we know, the great ship did not make it to New York. The ship hit an iceberg and sank, and the cargo was forever lost. The people of Mexico, who were crazy about mayonnaise, and were eagerly awaiting its delivery, were disconsolate at the loss.
Their anguish over the loss was so great and yet their joy at the victory of their small army so full they created a duel holiday which occurs each year on May 5th and is known, of course, as –
Wait for it….
Sink’O De Mayo.
- Cinco de Mayo (balloon-juice.com)
- Happy Cinco De Mayo from My Wines Direct (mywinesdirect.com)
- Cinco de Drinko or Drinko De Mayo (mylovelythoughtsdotcom.wordpress.com)
- Cinco de Mayo more popular in U.S. than in Mexico (seattletimes.nwsource.com)